Originally referred to as “Colorado’s Kingdom,” Breckenridge was first founded way back in the 1850s as a mining town. The Pike’s Peak Gold Rush was on, and the miners couldn’t get there fast enough. Once the town started booming, it never stopped! However, since the 1960s, it hasn’t been rich gold veins that bring people in. It’s the stunning mountain vistas, the high-alpine climate and terrain, the mixture of modern amenities and old-world western charm, and the endless year round recreation opportunities the town provides.

Located in Summit County Colorado, just west of the Continental Divide, Breckenridge sits at the base of the Ten Mile Range of mountains. You’ll be taken aback by seemingly endless high-elevation peaks covered in light, powdery snow.

Breckenridge Ski Resort explodes up from town into the mountains. It’s known as Breck to the locals, or the “Five Peaks,” because the ski resort is quite literally spread out over 5 distinctive peaks that offer a great all-around experience. Visitors will be equally blown away by the beauty of the views and the quality of the terrain.

Let’s dive into it and explore what makes Breckenridge Ski Resort a Colorado favorite!

4.6

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    Breckenridge has a really great historic town.
  • check-mark
    Terrain is plentiful and diverse, first timers and experts will have plenty to tackle at Breck.
  • check-mark
    Access is a breeze from anywhere in Colorado, and the Eagle Regional Airport makes visiting from out of state just as easy.
  • check-mark
    The terrain parks are amazing.
  • check-mark
    You’re close to a lot of other resorts that are on the Epic Pass.

Things we don't like:

  • check-markIt’s busy. Don’t expect to get many runs on a powder day before it’s tracked out.
  • check-markAs with other ski towns, it’s generally pretty expensive.

Where to Book:

Breckenridge Ski Resort For Beginners

Breckenridge Ski Resort 2023 Guide

Resort Profile

  • Lift System: 35 incl. 1 gondola, 5 high-speed six packs, 6 high-speed quads, 1 fixed-grip quad, 1 trip chair, 6 double chairs, and 15 surface lifts
  • Avg. Snowfall: 370 inches
  • Season: mid-Nov to mid-April
  • Runs: 187
  • Beginner: 14%
  • Intermediate: 31%
  • Advanced/Expert: 54%
  • Vertical: 9,600 – 12,998 feet
  • Kids Ski School: from 3-14 years old.
  • Accommodations: Multiple hotels and rentals located in town and Teton Village
  • Daycare: Onsite
See the complete list of the best Ski Resorts here!

Resort

Breckenridge is top-notch. With a massive amount of variable terrain and ease of access, it’s easy to see why Breckenridge is one of America’s favorite ski resorts. Starting with the town, you’ll be met, not with a perfectly polished and factory built ski town, but with a genuine old western town that was built to serve the miners who founded the area. This creates a fantastically unique identity for Breckenridge, where modern amenities have been fit into a town packed to the brim with old western culture. It’s planted right at the base of the Ten Mile Range in Summit County, where the many peaks rise above 13,000 feet, and some are even above 14,000! These stunning mountain views surround you and the snow that sits on the mountains is light, deep, and begging for skis!

The resort itself is worth the hype and then some! The culture of Breckenridge is known for being remarkably laid back. While Breckenridge is loaded with ritzy amenities, it’s always packed with down-to-earth riders looking to kick back and just have a good time. For being one of the most famous and popular resorts in the Vail Resorts ecosystem, Breckenridge seems to have avoided picking up a pretentious attitude along the way.

When it comes to riding, everything is on offer, from bunny hills and rolling groomers, to advanced manicured steeps and high-alpine expert-level terrain above the treeline. The ski area spans from 9,600 feet to mere feet below 13,000, offering up a massive vertical drop of 3,398 feet! With 2,908 skiable acres of terrain spread across 5 peaks, there’s something for everyone.

You won’t have to worry about being out of your comfort zone at Breckenridge unless you want to be, that is! There are 187 marked trails at Breckenridge, 14% of which are beginner and 31% of which are intermediate. This makes for plenty of opportunities for new skiers to learn the ropes on easy runs and a massive amount of space for intermediates to progress their riding.

This is where it gets important to know your peaks! Breck has 5 distinct peaks that offer all kinds of terrain. Beginners will enjoy skiing on peaks 8 and 9. Peak 8 was the original Breckenridge ski area that was opened to the public in the early 60s for lift-serviced skiing. Peak 9 has everything a new rider could want, with a plethora of wide, groomed runs that go from peak to base gently. Many of the blue-rated intermediate runs off of peak 9 are on the mellow side too.

Breckenridge Ski Resort The Resort

Intermediate riders shouldn’t limit themselves to peak 9 though. It’s more than worth your while to check out peak 6 as well! Peak 6 is intermediate riding delight. Here you can find big mountain style skiing mixed in with various groomers and tree runs. You don’t have to be an expert to ski wide-open powdery bowls at Breckenridge. Peak 6 offers 3 bowls that are above treeline, serviced by superchair lifts that keep the crowds at bay. Skiing out of peak 6’s north gates allow you to rip through terrain that feels like backcountry skiing, all while having access to resort amenities.

Expert riders will find their stride on Peak 10. With massive high-alpine lines that are steep and deep, and fast fall line corduroy skiing, it feels like there’s no end to the challenging terrain on Peak 10.

If you grow tired of lapping runs and want to try out or show off your skills at freestyle riding, you’ll be happy to hear that Breckenridge has 4 award-winning terrain parks. Breckenridge is constantly updating, changing, and adding new features to its parks with its team of professional park builders, so it’s hard to pin down exactly what they’ll have on offer any given year. There are a few staples you can look forward to, though, like an 18’ half pipe, progressive jump lines (from beginner rollers to professional level jumps), and countless jibs, boxes, rails, and other exciting features. It’s no secret that Breckenridge is considered a destination area amongst park riders in America. If you’re a seasoned expert in the park or have never tried a jump or rail before, Breckenridge is a great place to give freestyle riding a shot.

To sum up what you’ve just read: Breckenridge has everything from small to huge terrain, a great local culture, a laidback environment, world-class riding and terrain parks, and a wildly enjoyable historic town at the base. So what’s the catch? Breckenridge isn’t a secret. Everyone knows exactly what you know now, and every year riders descend on the mountain in droves. This past year you may have seen a video circulating that shows hundreds of visitors lining a street in Breckenridge, gear in hand, waiting to board the gondola to the base area. This is an unfortunate reality in many Summit County resorts, and Breckenridge has not escaped it. The bright side is that Breckenridge has a pretty impressive system of lifts servicing the mountain. Several high-speed chairs get the lines moving at a fast enough rate that you can duck some of the crowds once you get out of the base area. Additionally, as with other resorts in the Vail Resorts complex, day tickets aren’t cheap. It’s probably worth the investment to grab an Epic Pass, which includes Breckenridge and surrounding resorts, giving you great bang for your buck.

breckenridge-ski-resort

Getting There

Access to Breckenridge is pretty great. While the skiing may be big mountain style, you won’t have to deal with bad roads and rural approaches! Breckenridge is in Summit County Colorado, about an hour and a half from Denver! This is great for visitors who are flying in because the Denver International Airport is serviced by every major airline and international flights. Don’t worry about renting a car to get there either. Breckenridge is an easily walkable town, with shuttles from Denver International to Breckenridge at a very affordable price.

Your other option for flying is to fly into the Eagle Regional Airport, with a connecting flight, located outside of Vail. This option puts you about 60 miles west of Breckenridge on I-70. Shuttles are also available from Eagle Regional.

Those that are driving in to visit Breck will find quick access along the major I-70 highway.

Breckenridge Ski Resort Getting There

Accommodation

One of the nicest things about Breckenridge is that the lodging options appeal to a wide range of budgets. You’ll be able to find everything from luxury homes for rent to economical hotels and motels. You’ll also have a good selection of locations to pick from. A great proportion of the lodging is in Downtown Breckenridge and the Mountain Village. Staying in Downtown Breckenridge is a treat, as many of the houses and condos lining the streets are available as rental properties for visitors. This means you’ll be right in the middle of the action, with great access to the smattering of available restaurants and shops. These won’t be ski-in ski-out options, but they are just a short walk from the gondola, which will get you to Peaks 7 and 8.

If you choose to stay in the Mountain Village, you’ll be right at the base of Peak 9. This allows for almost immediate access to a Super6 lift. Here you’ll have options like condos, 1, 2, and 3 bedroom stays, and studio spots. Many of these accommodations provide ski-in/ski-out access.

Finally, you could stay on the mountain itself further up on Peak 9. This is going to be cream-of-the-crop style ski-in ski-out lodging. The access and beauty of these accommodations are reflected directly in their price point.

If you can swing it, try to check out the Hilton DoubleTree on Peak 9. Premier lodging with ski-in ski-out access, pet friendliness, and being only a few hundred feet away from a chair lift makes it well worth the price you’re going to pay to stay here!

Breckenridge Ski Resort Accommodation

Facilities

Breckenridge is extremely family-friendly (four-legged family members included)! Besides the main attraction of the ski resort, visitors will find no shortage of amazing attractions and venues to stay occupied.

Start with a walk down the historic main street of Breckenridge and take in the western vibes of the old buildings and cobbled sidewalks. While you’re walking, you may want to stop and shop around a bit. You’ll find everything you could want from market necessities to shops selling souvenirs, high-end wares, jewelry, art, and home decor.

If you’re not into skiing and need some self-care, or looking to relax after tearing it up on Breck’s peaks, check out some of the great local spa options. Try out the Blue Sage Spa for a 5-star experience with masseuses that have been in the business of helping you kick back for over 20 years!

Finally, with so much history in one place, it’s worth checking out some of the many museums in Breckenridge. Stop in at one of the museums or the High Line Railroad Park to get a feel for the deep western history of this endearing town!

Breckenridge Ski Resort Facilities

Families and Kids

As stated, Breckenridge is a family-friendly resort. Not only is there a massive amount of terrain, the laidback culture of Breck means no one will be pushing past as you get your family ready for the day. Even at only 14% of the mountain holding beginner terrain, you’ll still have a ton of options for enjoying skiing with the whole family. Further, if you’re a family of dedicated skiers, there’s a massive portion of the mountain dedicated to advanced and intermediate riding.

If you’re visiting with the kids, and they’re too young to get on the slopes, Breckenridge has onsite childcare in a couple of convenient locations. You can drop your child off at 3 locations around the mountain that offer a day packed with enriching activities, with caring and qualified staff. These facilities are highly rated and loved by all who take advantage of them. Just make sure you choose the best location for you and enquire about reserving ahead of time!

Peak 8 Child Care Center is located at the Peak 8 base area near the Gondola, taking children 8 weeks to 5 years.

Village Child Care Center is found in the Village Plaza. This location is only open in the winter and will take children from 8 weeks to 5 years.

Beaver Run Child Care Center is located near its namesake Beaver Run Superchair. They accept children from 8 weeks to 3 years.

Breckenridge Ski Resort Families

For Beginners

If you’re new to the world of powder, welcome! Fear not, you don’t have to go in blind. Breckenridge operates an amazing ski school teaching lessons for both skiers and snowboarders.

If you’re getting your kids into the sport, children’s ski and snowboard lessons are offered in a group setting for kids ages 3-14. They’ll be sorted into groups based on age and skill level, so you can be assured they’ll be getting a quality introduction to riding!

A new offering for the Breckenridge ski school is the All-Terrain Program. This is meant for kids 7-14 that are comfortable on blues or harder. They’ll focus on developing their skills across a variety of terrain while also having fun exploring areas of the mountain they may not have found on their own.

Adults that are learning can also take lessons at Breck. They offer group and private lessons catering to all skill levels.

Breckenridge Ski Resort For Beginners

For Snowboarders

Snowboarders rejoice! Breckenridge was actually the first Colorado resort to allow snowboarding, and it has been a focus of theirs ever since. They pride themselves on the inclusion of snowboarders at Breck, especially in their terrain park design. Over the years, they have held many professional snowboarding events, and many of the park features are set up to lend themselves perfectly to freestyle snowboarding!

Apres-Ski

Forbes magazine once called Breck “one of the hottest apres ski spots in the entire country”, so that should tell you all you need to know! But of course, we’ll give you some ideas to get started!

One of the best apres spots in Breckenridge is undoubtedly TBar. Named after the T-Bar style surface lifts, it keeps the culture of old school riding alive. Located on the mountain, and equipped with a massive outdoor patio, it’s the perfect place to end your day on the hill with plenty of space for friends and family to have a great time.

There are plenty of other local favorite hotspots like The Maggie or Sevens on the mountain as well, and the truth is you can’t go wrong!

Getting back into town for apres is easy enough with gondola or shuttle access. The town has such a lively apres culture it’s hard to narrow down the best spots. There are over 30 bars, clubs, breweries, and distilleries in Breckenridge to enjoy. We have to recommend you check out the local brewing scene with a stop at Breckenridge Brewery or Breckenridge Distillery. Locally crafted beers and spirits will certainly be a great way to cap off your day.

There are other nightlife options that will keep the party going as well. If that’s your speed, then stop by Cecilia’s for a lively nightclub atmosphere!

No matter what you’re in the mood for, with all the options on offer in Breckenridge, you’re sure to find something that fits your vibe!

Breckenridge Ski Resort Apres Ski

The Bottom Line

Breckenridge is a pretty killer experience. It’s got everything you want and then some. The town is a historic, beautiful reminder of the old western mining days of Colorado. On the mountain, you’re exposed to incredible snow that covers a huge amount of terrain, serviced by a great lift system that will have you taking hot laps all day. They’ve got everything from wide-open rolling runs, to intermediate glades, to steep and fast blacks, all the way to high-alpine chutes and peaks that will get your blood pumping. It’s a mountain that really offers everything you could ask for on a one-stop winter trip.

The only downside, as discussed, is the crowds. Breckenridge has amassed quite the following given its impressive offerings and fun environment. If you visit during peak days like over New Year’s, Christmas, or spring break, you may find that the lines are more than you bargained for. This is also true on powder days when Summit County locals and Epic Pass holding storm chasers descend on the area. Though it is possible to avoid some of the crowds by getting away from the main areas, you’re still likely to find all the good stuff gets tracked out fast.

This alone does not constitute enough of a reason to avoid Breckenridge. The pros outweigh the cons heavily in most scenarios at this resort. Even a week at Breck won’t be enough to experience all that the mountain truly has to give. All things considered if you’re seeking a good balance of challenge, fun, culture, and apres, Breckenridge is one of the best Colorado resorts you can visit.

Related Reviews

4.6

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    Breckenridge has a really great historic town.
  • check-mark
    Terrain is plentiful and diverse, first timers and experts will have plenty to tackle at Breck.
  • check-mark
    Access is a breeze from anywhere in Colorado, and the Eagle Regional Airport makes visiting from out of state just as easy.
  • check-mark
    The terrain parks are amazing.
  • check-mark
    You’re close to a lot of other resorts that are on the Epic Pass.

Things we don't like:

  • check-markIt’s busy. Don’t expect to get many runs on a powder day before it’s tracked out.
  • check-markAs with other ski towns, it’s generally pretty expensive.

Do you want more?

Stay updated with guides, reviews and more about paddling.

Comments

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Go to Frontpage

close